Performing on Ocarinas – Karaoke-style with backings…
Once the notes are under your fingers and you can play a tune reasonably well, it’s time to get into training…
Playing alone is easy; playing with others takes a bit more practice. To help with this, each of our books is available with an audio CD, so you can hear how each tune should sound and then have a go yourself:
Play along with each performance track, or choose the backing tracks for your very own Ocarina Karaoke!. You can star as soloist, accompanied by a rich mix of instruments including full Orchestra (Beethoven’s Ode to Joy) or funky Band (Goodnight Ladies) in Book 1, and Guitar (Greensleeves) or Accordion (Can Can) in Book 2, to mention just four of 137 tunes and 252 tracks on the Play Your Ocarina CDs. Plus the Adventurous Music-Making books have another 137 tunes (255 tracks) to explore.
The challenge of keeping up with the band, staying in tune with the guitar or coming in at the right time with the orchestra will introduce you to the real world of professional music. Take a quick look at the music, fix the tune in your head and, moments later, you may be playing in the recording studio or on the concert platform. This challenge is equally fun if you are six years old, teenage or adult. Take up the Ocarina Karaoke or Adventurous challenge today at home, or to inspire your groups at school.
Ocarina performing – Create solo and group performances
The art of a good performance is to give your audience confidence and pleasure in your playing. Here are some ideas to get you started…
- Always tackle ocarina pieces that are well rehearsed and within your capability. Add introductions, endings and harmonies whenever possible to ‘wrap up’ your tune like a well packaged gift.
- By linking tunes, you can create medleys that are more interesting than lots of short, individual pieces. Find tunes that have a similar rhythm and, ideally, are in contrasting keys. Play tune A followed by tune B and back to tune A; this will give a sense of journey and arrival that is very satisfying. The many rounds and harmonies in the Play your Ocarina books are perfect for group playing. Your audience may also enjoy singing along with familiar songs.
- Use live accompaniment and CD backings to support your playing. If you play in a group, mix instruments so that ocarinas, guitars, flutes and others all play together. Different size ocarinas, particularly Mini and Bass, can add colour to any piece.
- Add harmonies to build your Ocarina ensemble – Play your Ocarina Book 3 has sparkling solos and duets, with optional harmony parts in every piece. These can be used as ready-made group arrangements. Or start simply with tunes in the Adventurous Music-making books, or Books 2, Songs of Praise and Carols that each introduce harmony playing step-by-step.
Remember the value of playing a simple tune well. This can be just as impressive as playing more showy and complex pieces. The videos of Masquerade Ocarinas may give you ideas of how to develop your group.
At Ocarina Workshop, we aim to support all that is good in music education, music in the community and music in the home. We are always pleased to hear from ocarina players and teachers and wish you well on your musical journey.